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A conference on “The future of international election observation” will be held in the European Parliament, in Brussels, on 10-11 October.

Since 2000, the European Union has deployed more than 140 Election Observation Missions in more than 60 countries around the globe. MEPs are the Chief Observers, while the effective way these missions are carried out is the result of successful inter-institutional cooperation between the European Parliament, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Commission and member states.

In cooperation with EEAS, this high-level conference on “The future of international election observation” will bring MEPs, former heads of state, national parliamentarians, representatives of international organisations, election observers, donors and civil society to share best practices on how to conduct elections and to debate the future challenges and opportunities of election observation.

Programme

EP President Antonio Tajani will kick off the conference at 15.00, to be followed by the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Ms Mariya Gabriel, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative to the African Union, Ms Sahle-Work Zewde and Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union, Ms. Cessouma Minata Samate.

The afternoon session will focus on the challenges and opportunities of election observation: ICT, tackling disinformation and the use of social media.

On 11 October at 9.00, the participants will debate how elections are organised, conflict prevention, security and peaceful transition. This will be followed by two parallel sessions on the role and best practices of parliamentary observation and on the EU-AU-UN cooperation on electoral processes.

The conference will be wrapped up by Ms Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mr Roger Nkodo Dang, Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament and Ms. Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief.

Quotes

Ahead of the conference, EP President Antonio Tajani said: “Since the end of the Cold War, electoral observation has become an integral part of European foreign policy, as one of most effective and transparent instruments for promoting core values and strengthening democracy around the world.”

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini added: “Electoral Observation is a crucial part of our engagement in the field of democracy and Human Rights and a key instrument in our engagement with our partners. This conference will be an occasion for us to reflect on today’s challenges and opportunities, together with institutional actors and partners from the civil society that contribute to the success of the missions.”

WHERE: József Antall (JAN) building, room 6Q2 room (some workshops will take place in JAN 4Q1).

WHEN: 15.00 to 18.30 on 10 October and 9.00 to 13.30 on 11 October.

A detailed programme of the event is available here.

You can follow it live here.

Twitter: #EU4Democracy

Practical information for journalists

Journalists that already hold permanent media accreditation with the European Parliament will be able to access the event. For those not holding permanent media accreditation, requests to attend the conference can be sent to media.accreditation@ep.europa.eu. Video and photo journalists should get special accreditation (“T-badge”) to be allowed to use their cameras during the conference.